Implicit Race Attitudes Predicted Vote in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Academic Article uri icon


  • In the week before the 2008 United States presidential election, 1,057 registered voters reported their choice between the principal contenders (John McCain and Barack Obama) and completed several measures that might predict their candidate preference, including two implicit and two self-report measures of racial preference for European Americans (Whites) relative to African Americans (Blacks) and measures of symbolic racism and political conservatism. Greater White preference on each of the four race attitude measures predicted intention to vote for McCain, the White candidate. The implicit race attitude measures (Implicit Association Test and Affect Misattribution Procedure) predicted vote choice independently of the self-report race attitude measures, and also independently of political conservatism and symbolic racism. These findings support construct validity of the implicit measures.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009